Today, Airbnb announced it selected the Interlock at 14th Street and Howell Mill Road in Atlanta’s West Midtown as the new home for its planned technical hub.
The tech hub is slated to open later this year – subject to pandemic conditions. It follows Airbnb’s 2020 announcement of its plans to open a technical hub in Atlanta to serve as the home for one of its product development teams, the regional base for new technical and non-technical roles over time, and the first step in a broader commitment to a long-term presence in metro Atlanta.
“With the opening of our Atlanta Tech Hub, we hope to create many new high-skilled jobs over time and further expand our commitment to serving all stakeholders in Airbnb’s diverse community: Hosts, guests, communities, employees, and shareholders,” said Dave Stephenson, chief financial officer at Airbnb. “Atlanta emerged as the perfect choice for our new tech hub because of its strong educational infrastructure and institutions committed to supporting communities of color.”
The space Airbnb has leased in the mixed-use Interlock complex is managed by Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures (GATV), an affiliate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. GATV acquires and develops properties near the campus that addresses both Georgia Tech’s academic needs and that of technology companies interested in tapping into its research innovations and student talent. T. Dallas Smith & Company, the nation’s largest African American-owned, pure tenant rep, commercial real estate brokerage firm, represented Airbnb in its search.
“Atlanta is and always will be open to business, innovation and attracting talent,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, a Georgia Tech alum. “This investment is a vote of confidence in the strength of our tech industry and Atlanta’s existing talent. We welcome Airbnb’s new tech hub and I look forward to working together to create a pipeline of technical jobs and economic opportunities for our residents.”
Committed to the next generation
As part of its recruitment and hiring efforts, Airbnb is constantly innovating and creating new programs to provide local candidates of all backgrounds and experience levels opportunities to join the company. With the opening of the Atlanta Tech Hub, Airbnb will continue its work in developing community partnerships in the city to expand entrepreneurship and create pathways for Atlanta residents to pursue careers in technology. This work builds on Airbnb’s existing partnerships with the NAACP, the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RICE), Tech Bridge, and others in the Atlanta community.
Supporting the Atlanta community
Airbnb is a tool for economic empowerment, providing a path to entrepreneurship for Atlanta residents and helping local families pay their bills by sharing their homes. In the first nine months of 2021, Airbnb brought more than 500,000 total guest arrivals into Atlanta and 1.7 million to Georgia. Since 2010, Airbnb hosts in Georgia have earned a total of $1.2 billion, and home sharing has served as a source of income for more than 40,000 hosts across the state. Some 56 percent of hosts in Atlanta self-identify as women, and 35 percent are families.
Most hosts on Airbnb are everyday people sharing the homes in which they live, and the typical host earns $9,600 each year. According to a survey of Airbnb’s U.S. host community, 42 percent said the money they earned on the online lodging marketplace’s platform helped them stay in their homes. One quarter of Atlanta hosts said either they or someone in their household experienced a pay cut or lost work hours in 2020 because of the pandemic; 18 percent said they lost their jobs or were laid off themselves or lived with someone who did.
Airbnb guest spending also supports local businesses. Oxford Economics research found that in 2019, Airbnb guest spending in Atlanta supported 3,400 jobs, including 1,200 in the restaurant industry. Almost 40 percent of guests said saving money on their accommodations by staying at an Airbnb listing allowed them to spend more on other goods or services in Atlanta.
“We are committed to being a long-term partner to the city of Atlanta,” Stephenson said, “and look forward to continuing our work with local leaders as they promote entrepreneurship and tourism recovery.”